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The bipolar girlfriend..


Milly87
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Generally when I met guys I like I say I have 'issues' and let it all come out on a need to know basis... This hasn't worked very well. Recently I did the whole proper sit and talk thing once trust had been established, but this didn't work either.

 

I keep thinking I'm just doomed, but my life is sucky/lonely enough as it is, what's the point, if I can't even just hope for love and such?

 

I've always known I had issues, or rather I knew exactly what events, led to the me that exists today. Therapy has made me extremely self aware, and usually upon reflection I can probably say exactly why I'm depressed, why I've been bulimic, how abuse affected me etc etc... Recently I was finally diagnosed as bipolar, and all those events made a lot more sense, or rather my reactions to them did. It was scary to think that whether these things happened or not I won't still be 'normal', but at the same time I am relieved to know that I can officially try to manage it.

 

Dating has always been hard. First I never really meet people, the guys I have met in the clubs whilst somewhat manic, won't recognise or be attracted to me the next day when I'm more even, or worse depressed. So I stopped going. Occasionally I meet people socially in the day time, when medicated and functioning, and its good until it's not.

 

I try really hard to be a good girlfriend in the most normal possible ways... I realise that when really depressed I am also extremely insecure, needy, and I overshare like it's my job... So now when I write a million texts messages I save them as drafts as opposed to the impulsive 'send' that I know put off a few guys in the past. When I write emails I save, when I feel the need to call and cry, I have imaginary conversations in my head, or I write it down.

 

However no matter how normal I act, they realise something is wrong on days I'm soo depressed, no amount of meds can make me smile, and saying 'nothing' isn't a proper answer, and the proper answer is so long and complicated I give myself and the guy a headache. God forbid he encourages these talks, he finds himself feeling like my substitute therapist, not knowing that that I work really hard to only give in about 20% of the time I want to tell him everything I'm thinking.

 

And some days I think I am in a good mood, but then realise I'm not when the off button doesn't register and really evil things just come out of my mouth. I apologise immediately, then in the same breath I'm mean again, I try to run home at these moments, protect him from me as cliche as that sounds, but if friends are present, if its social, its hard, and we fight and I don't even know why I was mad in the first place.

 

Mostly I think I am a good girlfriend, I make huge efforts to be available and caring, I attempt to disappear when I know its bad, knowing that no matter what I say it will always be taken personally. I try really hard...

 

My personality, which sometimes I can differentiate from my illness attracts lots of male 'friends' they like it, they don't care about my food or depression issues, they want to take care of me when I'm low, party when I'm high. As friends, I find that guys have definitely dealt with this better than a lot of girls... However, as boyfriends. They run.

 

I recently confessed to liking my male best friend, who had literally been inseparable from me for over a year, the lack of dating on his part, intimacy, and having/wanting me everywhere, screamed he liked me too... However, we were so close, he knew the details, so the thought of us as a couple scared him... He did not want to be officially responsible for my feelings, though I never made him feel that way. I lost him as a friend too.

 

Ultimately they always eventually run away, tried hiding it but it works for a tiny bit, until I have to admit my absent days are spent in bed in the dark (not having an affair or something fun without them).

 

Are there any rules? Tips anyone who has been through this could share?

 

I feel soo lonely, and it sucks because I know I really do try.

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I am not sure what I can contribute to your cause, but having dated someone with "troubles" who exhibited a lot of the behaviour you mention, I have to say you are very brave for being so honest about this. It may not feel like it to you, but coming forward and recognising these things is a huge step. The question is, what do you do next?

 

As someone who has hang-ups of his own, I can relate to the trouble meeting people and especially in the dating sector. I made great strides with this but it took work, a lot of soul searching and endeavour to do the difficult things. Depression in particular is a damning force, it is more than just feeling down.

 

Your close male friend leaving didn't help I suspect. Has he come back with any reasoning as to why he left?

 

I am not sure what I can add as I am not knowledgeable, but I can throw my support in your corner.

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You are not alone. After reading your post, I'm like wow, I totally could have written it. First of all, kudos to you for doing therapy. I have a tendency to seek out meds/therapy when I am in my depressed/suicidal state but then freak out about trying meds and drop therapy like a hot rock.

 

Anyway, I think that you just need to try and be gentle with yourself, and treat yourself well--eat healthy, exercise, work on your hobbies, etc....I also think you need to take it one day at a time with relationships, or at least that is what I'm trying to do with my new relationship....I don't have the best track record and I keep thinking the next relationship will work, because I already screwed up so many times.

 

I have learned not to spill out my guts right away too, because I have been burned (being called crazy and to go back on meds, etc..) although I still find myself periodically telling people about my "issues", just because I am so comfortable with it. However, for a romantic interest, I think you need to build that trust first before you should reveal your personal demons. Well...Hope this helps a little, this is just some of my own advice that I am trying to follow myself!

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hi there!

 

been there. I've told my tale loads of times around here, not going there again. as a diagnosed bipolar I agree with sweetooth - take a lot of care of yourself, and go slowly on relationships. if you are single, only let the diagnose out after you are sure he will understand and accept what I call 'the dark side' of you. my last bf only got to know it 3 months on being with me, and only because on this particular moody day my housemates had scheduled a party (to which my bf was invited), and I called him asking if I could stay at his place for the night because I couldn't stand the idea of being around people. nothing wrong, if I had not been totally excited about it previously. he was very understanding and all, but that was not the case with many other guys. it's not personal, it's just that when you have a label like that people feel more pressured than if they knew nothing at all. god knows why...

 

btw, are you on meds?

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Your close male friend leaving didn't help I suspect. Has he come back with any reasoning as to why he left?

 

Thanks so much

No he didn't nothing. We were friends for a long time a literally 'together' in every sense of the word but sex (though neither with other people), for over a year and once I told him, nothing. It's been two weeks, I was very angry, and not being able to tell people why, his friends still expect us to show up to places together. I didn't leave home for the first week, but this week had four daily back to back therapy sessions to make up. Now end of second I'm able to articulate things, hence this post, and I'm just trying to do other things, see lots of people in small doses. I'm too proud too break down in public, so you could say I am now putting myself in uncomfortable outside situations on purpose.

However I've never felt so rejected in my life. Others who left, left because I did something crazy, he just left because he was scared. I worry I am ticking as I haven't really reacted, however I am taking antidepressants and trying hard to stay chill so hopefully I never do.

 

What is it like at the other end, being a guy having dated a girl in a similar situation?

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I have a tendency to seek out meds/therapy when I am in my depressed/suicidal state but then freak out about trying meds and drop therapy like a hot rock.

 

Thanks so much, I used to do that too, my most dysfunctional relationship is the one I have with my therapist.. However I now know that the most productive ones have been when I've been relatively stable. So you should definitely do that, I did a lot of research and went with paper work before trying meds, I did not want side effects, weight gain etc.. And finally only had the balls to last summer when I knew I would have nothing to do for 3 months and could afford to take a chance... Plus I had planned to start a new job after the break and knew I wouldn't start it feeling how up and down I had been at the time. Guess I was eventually lucky.

 

It's just that when you have a label like that people feel more pressured than if they knew nothing at all..

You're so right... It's funny because it's gone both ways with me... My longest successful relationship, I told him the night of our first date. Mostly because it started whilst I was mildly high, went crazy, and ended in me balling my eyes out for two hours. To be fair the date lasted like 20 hours, (manic much?! Lol) and I still make fun of him for being 'intrigued' as he put it later... As most would have run the hell away.

I wasn't on meds then, so he had it pretty bad, loved him, hated him, tried to kill myself, twice... This lasted 14 months, ended two years ago. The first year after I couldn't see him without wanting to throw the nearest dangerous object, or sleep with him. Then I got diagnosed, got on meds, was so much more chilled that when I bumped into him, i apologised. He actually joked about it, which was the nicest thing ever to be honest. We're friends now.

 

He is the main reason why I now wait before telling, especially now I know my moods are a lot more managable, I am less extreme and intense, so i feel its not necessary to burden people until it's important.

The guy friend I spoke off only found out officially like 8 months ago, he suspected lots of things, and knew about the individual issues as they came out, but I did not want to scare him. I thought I hadn't... Well, not until 2 weeks ago when he thought he saw the rest of his future I guess.

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well sista I would say its better to have problems meeting guys than constantly pushing them away. I have never made it past a 3 month mark in a relationship yet, but am also not seeking treatment. My last boyfriend dumped me last week, my heart has broken every day since then but i'm taking it all as a learning experience and some day your friend will see what he is missin.g

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Yeah, I'm just going to go on about this some more now. Don't just accept your diagnoses. The number of people being diagnosed BP is through the roof at this point. You are either very rapid cycling or not Bipolar. A lot of people diagnosed as Bipolar are actually Borderline so check it out and see what you think. Borderline people will also go from high to low but at a much faster rate and also with other symptoms attached. What you label it doesn't matter so much, but what the issue is is that you will not get on medications that will have a positive effect on you.

 

I don't know what you struggle with more (depression vs mania) if you are actually Bipolar or if there would be something needed for a rapid cycling person. My highs will last for a few months and so will the lows. I was diagnosed Bipolar II though, so while the highs have their issues, the depression is what REALLY bites me in the ass. I have been taking a medication called Lamictal for a while now, and either I am naturally coming out of the depression or it is actually helping (my money is on the meds). It is a mood stabalizer and has very few side effects. I'd suggest it if your psychiatrist thinks it is a good fit.

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well sista I would say its better to have problems meeting guys than constantly pushing them away. I have never made it past a 3 month mark in a relationship yet, but am also not seeking treatment. My last boyfriend dumped me last week, my heart has broken every day since then but i'm taking it all as a learning experience and some day your friend will see what he is missin.g

 

I'm sorry to hear about your heartbreak... I hope you feel better soon. I wish I could tell you what to do, but I suck at this part and end up being self destructive. Yes, its better to be troubled than to push away... I have also learned this the hard way. Personally, I think it's more about finding a balance, I know that when I dont push away, when I'm accepted I then pull... PULL in like crazy, which in some ways is just as bad... Does that make sense to you?

 

You should seek treatment, you don't have to do anything long term, maybe just a specific session to talk about your relationship, let it go or at least find out how you can manage that aspect. I don't know all your problems, and we both know I'm not one to give advice, but I know its never about one specific thing, but still think dealing with even just one, will overflow on others... Does that make sense?

 

Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What is it like at the other end, being a guy having dated a girl in a similar situation?

 

Takes a LOT of patience and understanding. Unfortunately, in my case, she was unwilling to see the doctor, even though she admitted numerous times that she should.

 

All I can say is hang in there. You'll eventually meet that someone who will cherish you for who you are, warts and all.

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Takes a LOT of patience and understanding. Unfortunately, in my case, she was unwilling to see the doctor, even though she admitted numerous times that she should.

 

All I can say is hang in there. You'll eventually meet that someone who will cherish you for who you are, warts and all.

 

 

Sorry about your situation. If your SO is Bipolar I .. I really can't imagine how she functions without medication. If she is BP II.. she should know there are so many meds out there besides Lithium. I think with meds and careful observance of your behaviors early.. it is pretty managable. For me atleast.

 

I was having hell for about a year after a sort of mental break down that landed me in the hospital. Had pretty serious issues before that but nothing ever quite as scary and out of control as that. Went on meds that were totally wrong for me (SSRIs.... )

 

I mention this quite a bit, but I am taking Lamictal and it has helped so so much. I have close to no side effects. As the dose increased slowly, I too began to come out of my .."coma"

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